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Blood clot deaths are preventable

12th May 2009

A charity is calling for the NHS to prevent blood clot deaths in hospitals by ensuring more effective steps are carried out to stop clots developing in the first place.

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Approximately 32,000 patients in hospital are killed every year because of blood clots.

The Lifeblood charity said 7 out of 10 of these cases could be averted if patients were properly assessed, given anti-thrombosis socks and encouraged to move around.

The charity also said anti-clotting medication could be administered to patients who had the highest danger of developing blood clots.

Clots can form inside the leg when a patient cannot move - for example after an operation -  and if they travel to the lung it can cause a pulmonary embolism.

Dr Sarah Jarvis, of the Royal College of GPs, said it was "shocking" that some hospitals did not give out anti-thrombosis socks.

She said: "The Department of Health says that everyone should have an assessment of their risk of having a blood clot when they go into hospital, and if you haven't had one you should ask for one."

"Hospitals should be doing a risk assessment on everybody going into hospital and we know that one-third of hospitals are not doing that routinely."

The NHS Confederation said hospitals needed to improve their measures to prevent blood clots.

Nigel Edwards, NHS Confederation director of policy, said: "If we work together we can save lives and reduce NHS costs by improving assessment of all patients and using cost-effective preventative measures."

 

 

 

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